There are a huge number of freelance writers out here, and the number is definitely rising. That means you must be able to set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. Identifying a particular type of writing that you prefer to do is just one step in that direction. You have to have a ‘unique selling proposition.’ In marketing-speak, a USP is an offer that sets you apart from the crowd.
- A writer covering automotive topics could set herself apart as the expert on all things Jeep.
- A web copy writer can set himself apart by focusing solely on putting together top-notch real estate agent sites and teaching those agents how to use the web to bring in more clients.
- A copy writer can set herself apart by offering a marketing materials package specifically for home-based businesses.
Most of us already have a USP, though we might call it a niche or an expertise or a preferred type of client. If there’s something you’re particularly good at or interested in, you can turn that into your USP — and the basis for your overall approach to marketing. If your USP is focused on working with a particular type of client, like a real estate agent, you can quickly figure out how to reach that client, like through real estate trade publications, real estate conferences and even real estate blogs.
The Practicalities of Your USP
Don’t be scared that having a USP doesn’t meant that you can’t operate outside that fairly narrow niche. Officially, my USP focuses on blogging about practical productivity, but I routinely take on projects like writing reviews of kitchen equipment or developing copy for a website. A USP only narrows your opportunities as far as you let it.
You don’t need to explicitly state your USP to anyone but yourself if you don’t want to, either. You can write down as many different USPs as you want, but you’re never completely tied to one. If you aren’t entirely sure where you want to focus your energy at first, trying writing down a couple of different ideas and see how they fit you over a couple of days.
What sets you apart from other freelance writers? What is your unique selling proposition?